My guest today is a fear-blasting, storytelling maven for entrepreneurs and people with a mission. Johanna Walker helps people put their stories out front to help change the world. Since 1997, she has helped hundreds break through their fears, step into leadership, and claim their place. She has worked with teenage girls, incarcerated women, fledgling entrepreneurs, and corporate executives, over and over witnessing the transformative power of telling our stories and speaking our truth. Johanna is the co-producer and co-host of Boulder’s bi-monthly storytelling series, Truth Be Told and Fearless Solos. She has performed almost everywhere—and yes EVERYWHERE—and she is a certified public speaking coach. Join us for Johanna’s story!
In this episode, you’ll hear:
How a combination of circumstances and choice lead to Johanna not having a child;
How she always assumed a child “would happen,” because that was the normal script to follow in life;
How she began to question her beliefs, assumptions, and expectations—“If children aren’t going to give my life meaning, then where is the meaning?”!;
How this decision has led her to be able to be connected to people and projects that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible;
How she encountered pressure, judgment, and disappointment from her family;
How she went through the grieving process for several years because she couldn’t see that anything else in life could make life worth living;
How she felt alone and isolated, even to the point of depression;
How she went through a time of not wanting to hear or celebrate other people’s joys around parenthood;
“Bring forth what is IN you; if you don’t, then what is in you will destroy you.”
How she learned to channel her creative life force and energy through storytelling and helping others express their creativity through speaking;
Ironically, she became a writer first and went through periods of silence, and then transitioned into speaking.
Growing up, the best way she could be a “good girl” was just to be quiet.
How she began to get a bigger picture of women’s voices, to tell her story, reclaimed her voice, and began speaking.
Johanna’s most fulfilling work is seeing people tell a story and hear their voice in a way they haven’t done before.
Her advice to someone considering a “different” path is: Use your voice. Tell your story in whatever your circle of influence may be.” Click To Tweet
The major benefits of her childfree life are the relationships with young people that are unique and different from the parent/child relationship. “I get to stand in my power as a woman separate from motherhood.”
Johanna’s legacy is to be present for herself and others. “Show up, be curious, and then tell your story about it.”
The lessons Johanna has learned are: “Let go of judgment and expectations and enjoy this extraordinary life. Be open to the possibility of the moment.” Find more more about Johanna here and here.
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